If We Keep Quiet…Then What?

Robert Sterling
I am a fortunate man… • Husband to a wonderful woman for so many years it is assumed I must have married her when she was five years old. • Father to two talented, grounded young men, both of whom I would choose as friends if I wasn’t already their dad. • Grandfather to four beautiful grandchildren. I am a fortunate man… • Still finding new avenues for the work I love after some four decades. • Privileged to make music with incredibly talented cowriters, artists, and recording musicians all along the way. • Blessed to work with ethical, creative clients from all around the globe, in the worlds of church music, advertising, musical theater, & broadcast media. I am a fortunate man… • Saved by God’s grace when I was a boy. • Forgiven by God’s mercy every day since. • Still learning how amazing the Lord truly is after all these years. I am a fortunate man. ASSORTED CREDITS (And other things that might make you think I’m a big deal) • Winner of six Dove Awards. (Not as big a deal as some think.) • Writer of eight Top Ten Christian radio hits. (A bigger deal than many think.) • Producer of Point of Grace, the Talleys, Kurt Kaiser and several other talented recording artists. (A bigger deal for me than for them.) • Writer/Arranger/Orchestrator of a small mountain of choral music anthems, collections and musicals. (Which at least speaks to my work ethic.) • Author of The Craft of Christian Songwriting. (Which speaks to my obsession to finish even the most unprofitable of tasks.) • Seller of tacos, airline tickets, jewelry, and frozen cobblers, during a decade of writing radio & TV jingles, including a recording session with the legendary Mel Torme`. (Now that’s a big deal.) • Teacher of songwriting from a Christian POV since 1995. (Only time will tell if that’s a big deal or not.)

With the exception of the Resurrection, the Triumphal Entry stands out as a lone “happy moment” in the sorrowful series of events that led directly to Jesus’ suffering and death on Golgotha. The Savior’s famous ride into Jerusalem serves as a popular event to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week and, as a result, an event we sacred composers frequently set to music. Over my career, I’ve written no less than a ten unique Triumphal Entry/Hosanna songs myself.*

In Luke’s account of the moment, he records a fascinating exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees chastised the raucous impropriety of Jesus’ followers, and told Jesus to rebuke his noisy disciples. Jesus’ response to his challengers was intriguing. He said, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

I love that answer.

The praise of God and his Son will not be contained. If His children fail to praise Him, then nature itself, right down to the very rocks, will do the job for us. So, let’s not stay quiet. Let’s make some noise.

* My most recent musical commemoration of this Palm Sunday moment is a song titled “Let the Rocks Cry Out.” (Harold Flammer 35027655) The rhythmic, syncopated chorus captures the celebratory atmosphere of the Triumphal entry, while the verses share what I hope are the reasons we sing.

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